Resistance and Tantrum

Pierre Yves Gagnon said: Dec 8, 2015
Pierre Yves Gagnon
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Oakville, ON
19 posts

I am in a delicate situation with one of my Suzuki families. I am teaching first thing in morning two young boys whose mother used to study with me as a child. The rivalry between the two boys is not always easy to control, and one of the boys, in particular, show sign of strong resistance by either throwing tantrums or flatly refuse to play. I have used a few strategies to improve the situation, but it remains tenuous. My suspicion for what is going on is the use of reward as punishment by the mother. “If you don’t do this, I will not give you that cookie.” I am not sure how to improve this situation and to offer suggestions to a mother that I used teach as a youth.

Pierre Y Gagnon

Alan Duncan said: Dec 11, 2015
Suzuki Association Member
81 posts

If rivalry is part of the mix, could the boys be taught at separate times so that they are somewhat isolated?

Another idea: Once a year in the studio in which my daughter plays, we do a “practice in your lesson” day. The studio teacher asks the parent and student to practice while she simply sits in the corner and quietly observes. Later she gives written feedback about the parent’s technique. I wonder if something like that might uncover issues in the parent-child interaction and provide an open door to talk about them.

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